Andrew Norman can make plans for the 2024 LLP Solicitors World Seniors Snooker Championship after he won a dramatic final against his brother-in-law Ben Hancorn at the first qualifying event of the season in Reading.
A former professional player of 12 seasons, Norman agonisingly missed out on the Crucible Theatre main event last season when he lost to Peter Lines in the final of qualifying event four. However, after an intriguing long weekend where he showed his class, Norman made sure that his name will be the draw this time around.
The 43-year-old began his campaign with 3-1 victories against Michael Judge and Ant Parsons in the last 32 and 16 respectively to make it through to Sunday’s last eight.
The 2022 English Seniors Snooker Champion recovered from 2-0 down as he defeated Dharminder Lilly 4-2 (77 break, frame six) in the quarter-finals before denying two-time Crucible qualifier for this event Stuart Watson 4-1 in the last four.
Coming through the other side of the draw was Hancorn, who was trying to repeat the feat of winning the opening qualifier of the season, which he did last year on his debut. The former English Amateur Snooker Champion eventually went all the way to the semi-finals at the Crucible.
Hancorn survived deciding frames against Neal Jones and Patrick Wallace before returning for Finals Day where he eliminated Rodney Goggins 4-2 and then Gerard Greene 4-1 in the semi-finals during a display in which he compiled breaks of 76, 62 and 52.
In the final Hancorn established a 2-0 advantage, but Norman responded as he levelled at 2-2. Hancorn went back in front and one away from victory although Norman recovered again, hitting a 59 break on his way to forcing a seventh and final frame which he emerged from.
In the opening Super Seniors event of the campaign, Ashley Beal defeated John Hunter 2-1 in the final.
It means back-to-back event titles for Beal who also won last season’s final event.
The former English Over-55 Snooker Champion won three consecutive deciding frame matches – against Simon Brooks, Patsy Fagan, and then Hunter.
The next weekend of World Seniors qualifying and Super Seniors action takes place at the North East Snooker Centre in North Shields between October 6-8. You can enter via snookerscores.net here.